Welcome to Goldilocks and the Dosing Dilemma…
Goldilocks and the Three Bears has always been one of my favorite fables. It has also been one that I have repeatedly shared with my little girls. It is a great reminder that even though we all love and support each other, we are all entitled to our own likes, dislikes, and opinions. The type of mattress that worked best for Mama Bear had a different consistency than the mattress that worked best for Baby Bear. The temperature of porridge that was most appealing to Papa Bear would have burned the roof of Mama Bear’s mouth. And, of course, the tiny cozy chair that made Baby Bear feel warm and secure would have crushed underneath the weight of Papa Bear. (Plus, his behind would probably have been covered with splinters as a result.)
But, let’s not forget about Goldilocks. Goldilocks was new to visiting a bear’s cabin, and she didn’t know what to expect, or what would work best for her. After all, no two little girls are exactly the same. Even if they may look the same, act the same, are roughly the same size, and have a similar background, the way their body responds to outside influences can be completely different.
And that brings me to the “story” I want to talk about today. As part of my partnership with Children’s Mercy Hospital here in Kansas City, I have the opportunity to learn about cutting edge research and protocols as soon as they become available. About a month ago I was asked if I would be interested in learning about a new platform they are exploring, aptly named, the “Goldilocks” approach to solving the dosing dilemma.
According to the experts at Children’s Mercy, the “dosing dilemma” we currently face is trying to figure out, when it comes to medicine, “How much is enough?” Two children of the same size and age can have very different responses to the same recommended dose of medicine. Children’s Mercy is working on better understanding how genetics, growth and development, disease, and environmental factors affect a child’s response to medication.
This is where the GOLDILOKs platform comes into play. GOLDILOKs helps doctors find the right dose for treating leukemia, ADHD, and other medical diagnoses. The platform integrates patients’ medical records to provide real-time results, allowing physicians to simulate a dose based on the desired effect for the patient. This model is also being applied to study cardiology drugs, asthma histamine treatments and more.
Steven Leeder, director of clinical pharmacology and therapeutic innovation for Children’s Mercy, says, “(We’re) interested in making medications more effective for kids. People try to scale adult data for kids. … How would you scale a dose from a 70-kg adult down to a one-year-old?”
To me, this makes perfect sense. If you’ve ever tried to scale a recipe, either up or down, it’s usually not a problem of simple division. Other factors must also be taken into consideration. Ratios of wet to dry ingredients must be adjusted. Cooking times and temps have to be altered based on the size of the vessel you are now cooking in. Not to mention altitude, humidity, and barometric pressure. (Sorry, foodie rant.) If a recipe can’t be a one size fits all, why would we think our kids medications should be.
I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again and again. We are so blessed to live in a city with access to the very best and progressive children’s hospital in the nation. Children’s Mercy is working closely with the FDA, NIH, and CDC in all issues related to drugs in children. They are also closely involved with The American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Drugs. The Committee on Drugs reviews all aspects of pediatric pharmacology. This includes drug indications, contraindications, absorption rates, routes of administration, dosing, and mode of actions as they apply to children. The Committee also promotes the need for expanded pediatric drug trials.
This should give us all hope that drugs will continue to become more safe, better regulated, and more properly prescribed. Just like the real Goldilocks, we need to keep doing our research until we find the dosage that is “just right” for our children at every stage of life they are in.
Have you ever considered why the correct dose of a medication — no matter what it is — is important for children at any age?
CONNECT WITH US! For more helpful tips, tricks and support for navigating this sea called motherhood, I invite you to visit the Children’s Mercy Mom Blogs. You can also follow Children’s Mercy on Facebook and Twitter. You can also find me personally on Facebook. I love helping my readers find their own family’s personal better. Cheers to spring!